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Above-average Season B production now expected, supporting continued Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Rwanda
  • August 2019
Above-average Season B production now expected, supporting continued Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • According to the FAO/GIEWS, harvests in June were above average, suggesting that food reserves are higher than initially thought. Additionally, growing conditions for 2019 Season C crops are favorable and above-average harvests are likely during the August-November period. December 2019-January 2020 production is also expected to be average to above average based on forecasts for above-normal September to December rainfall, though increased flooding and landslides are likely in some areas. The existing food reserves and coming harvests will likely maintain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food security outcomes at country level through January 2020.

    • According to the National Institute of Statistics, average food prices in rural areas decreased marginally from last month. However, compared to a year before, average food prices increased by 1.3 percent, with cereal prices increasing by 11 percent and the group comprising beans, banana, vegetables, roots and tubers, decreasing by 3.2 percent. It is expected that the Government of Rwanda will reopen northern border points, following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed on August 21 between the Governments of Rwanda and Uganda. Once the border points are open, imports of Ugandan maize, banana, and beans are anticipated to resume at normal levels, contributing to lower staple food prices in Rwanda.

    • According to UNHCR, the number of refugees in Rwanda was about 149,000 at the end of July 2019. The expected additional inflow of Congolese and Burundian refugees this year due to intercommunity violence and political uncertainty has not materialized. Because of ongoing refugee integration into national economic and social systems, as well as humanitarian assistance, refugees in Rwanda are likely facing Minimal (IPC Phase 1!) food insecurity. However, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes would be likely if humanitarian assistance was severely reduced or discontinued.

    ZoneCurrent AnomaliesProjected Anomalies
    NationalThe border post of northern Rwanda remains closed, limiting imports of maize, beans, and banana from Uganda. Above-average crop production in Rwanda and exports from Tanzania have partially filled the void, however, food prices in Rwanda are slightly higher in urban areas than last year (1.1 percent) due to the reduction in imports.Following the August 21 signing of an MoU to normalize relations between Rwanda and Uganda, it is anticipated that the border post will soon be reopened. Staple food prices are expected to decline in urban areas with the increase in supply from Ugandan imports.



    As a result of above-average rains in June and July, moisture-resistant crops such as cereals, sweet potatoes, cassava, and banana developed favorably, and Season B production is now expected to be above average. However, production of beans and Irish potatoes was average. Furthermore, given the forecast for above-average rainfall for the September to December 2019 period, December 2019-January 2020 crop production will most probably be average to above average. Favorable production will help support Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes through at least January 2020. Increased rainfall can also cause flooding and landslides, which would adversely affect households in localized areas until national relief interventions are mobilized. The Northern and Western high-altitude areas are particularly prone to those disasters especially during the peak rainfall months of October to December.

    In rural areas, where most poor households reside, average food prices decreased marginally from June to July 2019. Compared to July 2018, cereal prices increased by 11 percent, though the prices of the other major crops decreased by 3.2 percent. In urban areas, the prices of maize flour increased after February 2019 (Figure 1), reportedly due to the decline in imports from Uganda following the closure of the northern entry point of Katuna, which is anticipated to reopen soon. The Rwanda-DRC border crossing is back to normal after the Rwandan immigration officials had previously restricted traffic to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus. Many households at either side of the border derive much of their food and incomes from cross-border trade activities. Food prices in Rwanda are still below their three-year averages and are likely to remain so through January 2020 in both rural and urban areas.

    Refugees, which UNHCR in July 2019 estimated at 149,000, constitute the population of special concern in Rwanda. Their numbers remain relatively stable, as there are no large inflows of additional refugees from Eastern DRC or from Burundi.  With increasing integration in the national social and economic systems and supplemental humanitarian assistance, refugees are likely to face no food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) through January 2020. However, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes would be likely if humanitarian assistance was severely reduced.

    Figures Seasonal calendar for a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar of typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Graph showing beans and maize prices in Kigali over time in Rwf/kg

    Figure 2

    Figure 1

    Source: FAO/GIEWS Food Price Monitoring and Analysis Tool

    In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

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